This is just a note of a blog post to explain why I am offline from time to time. My Father is paralyzed from ALS and on a ventilator. Last Saturday he suffered what was possibly a brain hemorrhage and has since fought his way back to life, regaining consciousness. He is at home as he wishes to be and we have been by him day and night. Hence the brevity here.
So for now but one observation first made back when my Mother was ill; how adjusting her in bed would bring on flashes of canvases by the old masters. Artists before our time knew the human body. Cutting into corpses to study the exact placing of a muscle was one thing, their familiarity with the human body in all parts of life quite another and all more powerful as part and parcel of their personal experience. They brought that understanding onto the canvas and into the stone; In Europe epitomized in the body of Christ placing his martyred body before us to react with compassion. When my Mother was ill I would catch myself whispering to her:
She would nod behind closed eyes, knowingly.
|Edouard Manet, The Dead Christ with Angels, 1864|
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.